The Upside of Losing the Fight
Killing Humbaba the monster, who looks just as human as they do.
Priya, from The Girls Who Saw Everything, after Romy plays Humbaba:
‘But what was it like?’ she persisted, earning an approving look from Runner. ‘What was it like to be the monster Humbaba?’
‘Stop pestering her.’ (Missy.)
‘But we have to talk about it, Missy. Otherwise it’s a waste of time. To the victors go the spoils, but the victims get the visions, and people should hear about it.’
‘What people? What visions?’ asked Missy.
‘Us people,’ said Priya. ‘Our visions.’
Romy, from The Girls Who Saw Everything, after playing Humbaba:
‘Since I’m dead,’ she said, ‘I can finally admit that I read all kinds of shit, like even the crappy magazines that I pretend to despise. I read bad, pulpy books, too, and books that scare me, though not so bad as when the rabbits died in Watership Down. I read all kinds of shit, I might as well admit it since I’m dead. And I’d be a hypocrite to mind you comforting the traumatized and fallen heroes, the men, since I wish the women could comfort me too. I do. I really do. I might as well admit it since I’m dead ... ’
She couldn’t quite believe she was speaking out loud like this.
‘Emmy could hold me to her soft breast too, and I would feel her breathing and slow down my breathing to the level of her breathing too. That’s comfort. That’s what comfort is. And people get comfort when they win, not when they lose. Do you see why I want to be alone for a bit? I’ll see you tomorrow, ’kay?’
And then she was gone. Disappeared into the stairwell. Slipped down through the floors and out into the darkening streets as a god.